TARTANET – A centre to save turtles in Maremma

Tarta-net is a network to save turtles in difficult situations; a great network organised by researchers and operators who wish to defend and protect the “Caretta caretta”, that is the most common turtle species in the Mediterranean. This type of turtle is under a severe threat throughout the Mediterranean basin and is on the verge of extincition in Italian waters.

These animals’ body is protected by a strong brown shell with yellowish heart-shaped pattern at the top. Their fins allow them to reach a speed of up to 21 miles per hour.

Turtle - Caretta Caretta by Nataša Stuper on Flickr

Turtle – Caretta Caretta by Nataša Stuper on Flickr

They are cold blooded like all reptiles so they have a preference for mild waters. They breath because they have lungs but they are also capable of holding their breath for a very long time.

Baby Caretta Caretta by Jan Smith on Flickr

Baby Caretta Caretta by Jan Smith on Flickr

They are omnivorous which is why, unfortunately, they sometimes eat garbage that they find in the sea by mistake:  plastic bags they have mistaken for jellyfish, leads, hooks mistaken for fish, nets mistaken for seaweed. They reproduce in July and August, but reproduction places are very few in in the Mediterranean because of how crowded the beaches are.

Caretta Caretta by Nataša Stuper on Flickr

Caretta Caretta by Nataša Stuper on Flickr

Turtle Nest by Heather Cowper on Flickr

Turtle Nest by Heather Cowper on Flickr

There is therefore a great need for activities such as the ones carried out by Tartanet.

The network includes 14 centres in Italy and it was made possible by the European Commisson’s Life Natura programme, with the support of the Maremma Regional Park Authority, the Grosseto province and Orbetello, Magliano in Toscana and Grosseto town halls.

Talamone by Hengist Decius on Flickr

Talamone by Hengist Decius on Flickr

One of the most prominent centres is located in Maremma, in Talamone, and it also hosts the Orbetellos lagoon aquarium and the Lagoon Fishing Museum. In this centre they take care of animals that have been victims of accidents, like been hit by a boat or injured by fishing equipment. Amongst their equipment, an operation theatre and recovery tanks. Despite its small size, the centre provides emergency assistance 24/24. Once they have completely recovered, turtles are released back into the sea.

Talamone’s aquarium is also a study centre where marine biodiversity themes can be explored more in depth; there are tanks where different sea habitats have been recreated, information displays and videos describing the flora and fauna as well as tools and equipment for lagoon fishing.

The aquarium and the turtles’ recovery centre is located in via Nizza 20, in Talamone. Getting to Talamone from Magliano is really easy!

Here is how to get there:

Da Magliano a Talamone

Da Magliano a Talamone

Info and reservations: (+39) 0564/887173  or (+39) 0564/393211

cultura@comune.orbetello.gr.it

centrovisite@parco-maremma.it

www.comune.orbetello.gr.it

www.parco-maremma.it